Have you ever wondered why subdomains are considered bad for SEO? Maybe if you are an SEO expert then you must be familiar with this myth that subdomains can damage your website’s SEO.
The real question is, is that even true?
Let’s dig deeper in this post whether subdomains affect SEO or it’s just a myth. Let me first explain a few key terms that our non-technical users don’t know.
What is a subdomain?
Any domain that has been created in a subdirectory of a parent domain considered as a subdomain. Here is an example of a subdomain:
In the above example, we have a root domain (example.com). The webmaster differentiates a blog from the official (example.com) website. So, he created a subdomain as
What is a root domain?
A domain which is highest in the hierarchy of a website is considered as a Root Domain. Here is an example of a root domain:
Are Subdomains Bad for SEO?
It is a question that has been asked by so many times by my clients. Googlebot considered subdomain as a new domain. Google does not associate subdomains to root domain.
For example, if your root domain has a high domain authority and now that you create a subdomain to start a blog or a shop on a subdomain, then your subdomain has got no domain authority. You are almost starting a new website.
Although, you can create links between the root domain and subdomain. It doesn’t mean that it would give your new subdomain the same authority as the root domain. Maybe it will improve your subdomain authority to some degree but your subdomain won’t have an exact root domain authority.
Should you use a subdomain?
It is up to you whether to use a subdomain on your website or not. If started as a new website, subdomains can be ranked high in search results. However, to rank a subdomain, you have to SEO it from the ground up.
The best scenario and most recommended by every top blogger and SEO expert is to use one domain to manage all your website. You can create different pages/posts on 1 domain to differentiate them from one another.
The best way to do it before starting your new website. You should develop a structure of your website on a piece of paper or use any mind mapping software. Map pages you would create on the website and structure them in a way that is easier to understand for your target user. This will help your website’s users to easily navigate the website. Also, Google and other search engines love websites with good navigation structure.
Should I use “Noindex/nofollow” tag or use password protection? Is it going to affect the root domain?
You can use both methods. However, the most recommended method is to always protect your development site with a password. It will tell Googlebot that this website is not intended to get indexed in the search results. If somehow, your development subdomain gets indexed in the search, you can always remove your website from the search results. And no, as I wrote earlier in the post, your subdomain is considered a different domain by Googlebot. It shouldn’t affect your root domain ranking.
I hope this answered your question. Let me know if you have specific questions about root domains and subdomains in the comments.